'''Carl Gustav Adolf von Harnack''' (7 May 1851 – 10 June 1930) was a German Lutheranism|Lutheran theology|theologian
and prominent church historian. He produced many religious publications from 1873 to 1912 (in which he is sometimes credited as '''Adolf Harnack''').
Harnack traced the influence of Hellenistic philosophy on early Christian writing and called on Christians to question the authenticity of doctrines that arose in the early Christian church. He rejected the historicity of the Gospel of John
in favor of the Synoptic Gospels
, criticized the Apostles' Creed
, and promoted the Social Gospel
In the 19th century, higher criticism
flourished in Germany, establishing the historical-critical method
as an academic standard for interpreting the Bible
and understanding the historical Jesus
. Harnack's work is part of a reaction to Tübingen, and represents a reappraisal of tradition.